Alan Curbishley and Kevin Keegan have both resigned from their respective clubs this week, citing similar reasons behind their decision to step down. Quite simply, more and more Premier League clubs have owners, technical directors and advisers who are primarily responsible for which players are bought and sold, rather than the manager. Will the same happen at Manchester City after ADUG took over a few days ago?
Mark Hughes would like to think not, according to The Guardian, with the Welshman stating that he really needs to be the one advising the club’s owners on the players he needs. However, the spokesperson for the group, Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim, has already been blabbing about signing Ronaldinho and Cristiano Ronaldo for City. Will he really cool his jets and leave the decision-making to Sparky?
“My understanding – and I think this has to be the case – is that I will recommend the players and they [Adug] will see if they can get them,” he said.
Alan Curbishley quit as West Ham manager this week after complaining that decisions were taken above his head, while Kevin Keegan has left Newcastle United for similar reasons. Hughes, however, described himself as “absolutely delighted” with City’s takeover and is confident he can forge a strong working relationship with the new owners.
“In days gone by managers worked in a different way to the way it is now,” he said. “If you understand where the business side overlaps with the football side there should be no problem. I have to understand the owners’ point of view and, equally, they have to understand where I’m coming from and respect me.”
Indeed, Hughes is a strong-minded individual who may not appreciate too much board interference when it comes to transfer dealings. But is this unavoidable, especially with Al Fahim so seemingly intent on bringing in more box-office signings and forging City into a Champions League team? Is this a collision course waiting to happen?